A non-stop stream of international brands is setting up shop in Canada for the first time this year. The latest? Victorinox Swiss Army, which recently opened its first North American location in Toronto. The 3,400 square foot store features Swiss Army knives (of course), timepieces, travel gear, fashion, fragrances, as well as professional cutlery (by appointment only).
“As a global brand with a 128 year history, it’s time for us to establish a presence in one of our most important markets,” said Joachim Beer, President, Victorinox Global Fashion in a press release. “Customers will now be able to experience the world of Victorinox under one roof, with all of its creativity, innovation and tradition.”
I stopped by the new flagship recently for an exclusive pre-opening preview, and was pleasantly surprised by the selection of clothing and watches for women. The offerings combine fashion and function: each piece is designed with features that allow women to travel with ease and look good doing it.
Intrigued? You can find the new Victorinox Swiss Army store at 95A Bloor Street West, Toronto.
Ann Taylor announced last month its plans to open the brand’s first international stores in Canada this Fall, and at last night’s exclusive launch event we finally got the juicy details you’ve all been waiting anxiously for. Mark your calendars: Ann Taylor is slated to open at Toronto Eaton Centre in October 2012, Yorkdale Shopping Centre in November 2012, and online in 2013!
We also got a sneak peek at the Fall 2012 collection, and there’s plenty to cheer about there too. Peplums, animal prints, and colour-blocking were all spotted in Ann Taylor’s on trend Fall line-up, but it was the accessories that really blew me away. I can’t wait to shop the eye-catching shoes and bold statement jewelry.
The brand’s apparel offerings are office-ready, as expected, but also perfect for after work cocktails. Creative Director Lisa Axelson, who previously designed for Club Monaco, Gap and Banana Republic, brings a younger, trendier feel to the Ann Taylor aesthetic that will appeal to everyone from the chic young professional to her stylish mother.
If you’re wondering about price points, by the way, rest assured that you won’t experience sticker shock when shopping Ann Taylor’s Canadian stores. The significant discrepancies between price tags north and south of the border, a sad reality with many U.S. chains that set up shop in Canada, aren’t expected to be an issue at Ann Taylor.
Get your pocketbooks ready though: between the colourful outerwear options, the cute bow-embellished leather gloves, the colour-block pony hair pumps and the bevy of other items you’ll be coveting – like I am already – your Fall shopping list at Ann Taylor is going to be a long one, so you may as well start saving up now.
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LOFT is coming to Canada! The U.S. brand announced today the opening of its first international store at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto in late 2012. The news comes on the heels of sister brand Ann Taylor‘s announcement a few weeks ago of the launch of their first non-U.S. stores in Canada this Fall.
“Canada represents a natural step as we move to expand internationally, and we are excited to open our first store outside the U.S. in such a vibrant city like Toronto,” said Gary Muto, Brand President in a press release. “LOFT offers women apparel and accessories that have great style, quality and value, and we believe our product fills a void in the market.”
For those of you who are not already long-time fans of LOFT, of which there are many north of the border, the retail chain offers “versatile, accessible, and affordable fashion with undeniably feminine appeal, special and unexpected details, and a flattering fit.” Sounds promising! Are you excited for LOFT’s arrival, Toronto?
Image courtesy of LOFT
After months of speculation, U.S.-based womenswear retailer Ann Taylor finally announced today the opening of the company’s first two international stores, both in Toronto, Canada. Slated to open in Fall 2012, the two new boutiques will offer a full range of women’s apparel, shoes, jewelry and accessories that aims to dress women “across every generation from desk to dinner and workday to weekend”.
Brian Lynch, Ann Taylor Brand President said in a press release, “We are pleased by the strong awareness Ann Taylor already enjoys in Canada and look forward to offering our Canadian customers great fashion, quality and value in a new, exciting and aspirational shopping environment.”
The locations of the two new boutiques have yet to be officially announced, but a wayward floor plan and current job posting lead us to the conclusion that they will be opening at Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Toronto Eaton Centre. Neither location is a surprise, as Yorkdale in particular has celebrated the launch of two significant first-to-market store openings in the last year with J.Crew and Tory Burch.
Are you excited to be able to shop Ann Taylor’s chic offerings north of the border in a few short months? Stay tuned for more news about Ann Taylor in Canada in the coming weeks!
Image Credit: Lila Photo
As soon as I passed through the orange lacquer doors into the packed press preview of Tory Burch’s first Canadian boutique at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, I knew I was in for a fun night. Within the gorgeously decorated space – filled to the brim with what the designer herself describes as “beautiful things that don’t cost a fortune” – fashion aficionados intensely debated what their first Tory Burch in-store acquisitions on Canadian soil would be.
Bold colours and delightful prints were enthusiastically embraced by the more sartorially adventurous. After careful deliberation and polling, Nelia Belkova of StyleBlog.ca settled on the coveted Robinson Mini Chain Bag in an eye-catching orange. Meanwhile, Liv Judd, Shopping Editor for LOULOU Magazine, is reportedly enjoying the spring weather in her new pair of Tory Burch flats, made in a to-die-for yellow snakeskin.
In addition to all the vibrant colour, there was a strong selection of classic garments and accessories in pastels and neutral tones. I myself was drawn to the Small Suede Briefcase and the Owen Jacquard Dot Pant, though I ultimately went with an Angelique silk blouse (one can never have too many blouses). The thoroughly enjoyable shopping experience I had was in no small part due to the tremendously friendly, helpful, and efficient staff.
The Tory Burch boutique is now open to the public, so be sure to pay a visit!
The infamous mirrored accessory wall, a feature of all Tory Burch boutiques
Flare Magazine’s Mosha Lundström Halbert
S would love these whimsical cherry-print pumps
Blogger Gracie Carroll giving the Owen jacquard dot pants a try
Flare Magazine’s Ryan M. Cheung, undoubtedly texting his friends about the iPad-equipped seating areas
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Earlier this week, The Globe and Mail reported that Hudson’s Bay Company is currently in talks with Macy’s Inc., owner of Bloomingdale’s, to bring the upscale department store north of the border. Canadian fans dying to fill their Little Brown Bags cheered at the news that a luxury U.S. chain might finally be making its way to Canada. Now that we’ve had a few days to ponder the possibilities, we really, really, really hope that these rumoured plans come to fruition. For 5 very good reasons:
1. More Brand Selection
Bloomingdale’s carries some brands not sold in Canada and others that are available only in limited quantities, and we’re hoping the chain introduces them to the Canadian market. There’s also a lot of overlap between the designer roster of Bloomingdale’s and those of Holt Renfrew, The Bay and smaller local chains, but one more retail outlet means that much more inventory for us to shop, shop, shop. Meaning: if you miss out on that Nanette Lepore dress at Holts, it may not be the end of the world after all.
2. The Outlet Store
Bloomingdale’s only introduced its outlet format, aptly named ‘The Outlet Store’, in Fall 2010. Since then, they’ve opened 8 locations across the U.S. If the main Bloomingdale’s department store were to come to Canada, why shouldn’t the outlet chain come along for the ride? And you know how I love a good designer outlet.
3. More Square Footage for Canadian Designers
One would hope that if Bloomingdale’s were to come to town that they’d bring with them more than just the American and international brands we’re accustomed to shopping at their U.S. locations. We’d love to see some of their sales floor square footage dedicated to Canadian designers as well. Bloomingdale’s currently carries Mackage and Canada Goose, among other Canadian lines, and a few more racks for local designers would be more than welcome. Selling to Bloomingdale’s would be a huge break for any up-and-coming designer.
4. The Big Brown Bag
Remember that very first time you walked out of Bloomingdale’s swinging a Little, Medium or Big Brown Bag, and the elation you felt? I want that shopping high to be readily available in the streets of Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal…across the country, really. It sounds ridiculous, but those paper bags give me a little extra spring in my step, and I think every shopaholic should experience that. Even if it’s just a new pair of Spanx inside.
5. Another Registry Option
Having shopped for a bazillion wedding and baby showers by now and even set up my own registries, I’ve come to one sad conclusion: this country is sorely lacking in registry options. Bloomingdale’s sells a full range of dining, kitchen, bed & bath and home decor items, and would be a welcome addition to the Canadian registry market.
6. Magnolia Bakery!
Let’s be real: this is reason #1 in my mind. Bloomingdale’s houses Magnolia Bakery shops in their Manhattan and Dubai flagships, so definitely/possibly/maybe/hopefully they would do the same in at least one Canadian location (Toronto please!). Cue gratuitous shot of the cupcake shop in the Bloomingdale’s in Dubai to get your mouth watering:
So there you have it – 6 perfectly and equally legitimate reasons as to why HBC and Macy’s Inc. just have to bring Bloomingdale’s to Canada. Are you as excited as I am about the possibility of Bloomie’s coming to a Canadian city near you?
Image Credits: Ronald Saari, Dallas Morning News, Diana Susselman, Dubai Chronicle
Back in March, it was announced that New York-based contemporary designer Tory Burch‘s first boutique in Canada would be launching at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre in May. Since then, we’ve been waiting ever so patiently for more details, and finally they’ve come: the brand spanking new store will officially open its doors on May 4!
Have you been admiring Tory Burch’s popular Reva ballet flats or 797 leather satchels from afar? Here’s your chance to finally get your hands on them! With Burberry as its neighbour, the luxurious, 2,500-square foot boutique will stock a full range of Tory Burch’s chic and preppy clothing and accessories.
We can’t wait to see the new store. The brand has built some very luxe boutiques around the world (check out the gallery below), and we’re excited to see what the fabulous Tory Burch store format (orange lacquer doors, mirrored walls, Lucite fixtures) will look like with a Canadian twist.
The very best part of this big news? You may just get the chance to visit the new boutique sooner than you think. The Backseat Stylers have been invited to get a sneak peek of the new store before it opens to the public and enjoy 20% off full price purchases…and we want you to be our guest!
To win this exclusive opportunity to visit Tory Burch’s first Canadian boutique before anyone else, simply enter our contest by April 29 (see contest rules below). Good luck, ladies! In the meantime, peruse the Spring 2012 lookbook and start working on your wish lists, Toronto!
Contest Rules [CLOSED]:
1. To enter, leave us a comment on this blog post and ‘like’ both Tory Burch and The Backseat Stylers’ Facebook pages here and here.
2. For one (1) extra entry, follow both Tory Burch and The Backseat Stylers on Twitter, and tweet the following: “The first @ToryBurch store in Canada opens May 4, and I want to win a sneak peek with @backseatstylers! http://bit.ly/I2T92Q #ToryinToronto”
3. Entries must be received by April 29, 2012 11:59pm. The winner will be selected randomly from the submissions using random.org and will be announced on April 30, 2012. The winner will be notified by e-mail.
4. The date and time of the store visit (before May 4, 2012) is at the sole discretion of Tory Burch. If the winner is unable to attend at the appointed date and time, a new winner will be selected.
5. The prize is for one (1) guest only, and does not include transportation to/from the store or any Tory Burch products.
We’ve selected our winner using random.org. Congratulations to…Emma! We look forward to shopping the new Tory Burch boutique with you before it opens. Thanks to everyone who entered!
xx, T & S
Image Credits: Tory Burch
I’ve been talking NYC summer travel plans this week and, naturally, telling everyone who will listen that Woodbury Common, the outdoor outlet mall about 1.5 hours outside of Manhattan, is an absolute must-visit and one of my favourite shopping destinations in the world. Based on an exciting media release that landed in my inbox this morning, though, we may no longer have to make that long trek south of the border for upscale outlet shopping soon enough – we’re getting our very own Woodbury Commons! Toronto edition.
Canadian company Calloway and U.S.-based The Simon Property Group, owner and operator of 70 Premium Outlet Centers in the U.S., announced today a joint venture that will bring Toronto Premium Outlets to the city in summer 2013. Construction will begin later this month on the 500,000-square foot centre, which will house over 100 outlet stores and is expected to include several upscale U.S. retailers and designer brands that will be new to the Canadian retail landscape.
“Toronto Premium Outlets will feature an outstanding collection of many of the finest brands, offering value, quality and selection all in one convenient location,” said John R. Klein, President of Simon’s Premium Outlets division, in a press release. “We already welcome large numbers of Canadian visitors to our centers in the U.S. and look forward to serving these valued shoppers closer to their home. We see tremendous opportunity to introduce our top merchants to the Canadian market.”
The centre will be located in the Town of Halton Hills (on Highway 401 at Trafalgar Road), an area I plan to get quite familiar with if Toronto Premium Outlets makes good on its promise to bring the types of retailers we’re accustomed to seeing at Premium Outlet Centers in the U.S. A quick scan of Woodbury Common’s store directory has my heart racing at the mere thought of some of my favourite outlet stores potentially coming north of the border: Barneys New York Outlet, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Gucci, YSL, Burberry…
I simply cannot wait.
When Target asked me to save the date earlier this week, I had no idea what for. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I was putting February 23 aside for a one-day only Jason Wu for Target Pop-up Shop in Toronto.
And if that wasn’t enough to trigger my jaw to hit my laptop when the official invitation finally arrived, this little tidbit was: “Join award-winning fashion designer Jason Wu and Target executives for blah, blah, blah…” Wait. What? Jason Wu himself is going to be there? I think I might’ve fallen out of my chair at that moment.
Now that I’ve recovered somewhat, here’s the skinny on this fabulous pop-up shop coming to our fair city:
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Doors open to public: Noon
Location: 363 King Street West, Toronto
Hosts: Designer Jason Wu and Tony Fisher and John Morioka of Target Canada
Note: Quantities limited. Purchase limit of 3 items per customer. All sales final.
I can’t imagine you do, but if you need a tiny bit of nudging to get yourselves to this one-day affair, here it is: all proceeds will be donated to United Way Toronto. So to recap: Jason Wu. At Target prices. For charity. See you there? I thought so.
By the way, prep yourselves by checking out the complete Jason Wu for Target lookbook here.
Image via A Bull’s Eye View
Last week, ALDO Shoes launched A is for ALDO, the footwear company’s very first foray into the world of fragrance, with a shindig DJed by none other than model and rock royalty offspring Alexandra Richards. I stopped by the party to chat about the new venture with the ALDO team, sniff test the range of scents, and even sneak in some shoe talk (it is Aldo, after all).
So why is a footwear brand entering the eau de toilette business? “What we wanted to do was be a portal to the fragrance universe for our customers,” Vyara Ndejuru, ALDO’s Director of Marketing, explained. “Same as we do with the trends; we boil (them) down and make (them) more accessible, (but) at the same time working with two of the best fragrance houses in the world, Robertet and Givaudan. We bring the best of the best, but in a way that’s accessible and not too expensive.”
The colour-coded line, which comes in 3 sizes retailing from $15 to $45, offers a distinctive scent for three different personality types. BLUE is for the sexy, glamourous and seductive woman; RED is for the sensual, passionate woman who knows how to leave an impression; and YELLOW is for the chic, playful and alluring woman.
Yours truly is a Yellow – what about you? Take the quiz here to find out which colour ALDO thinks suits you best. Intrigued? A is for ALDO is available in stores and online.
ALDO’s Director of Marketing, Vyara Ndejuru
Model and DJ Alexandra Richards
Pink Tartan’s Kim Yong-Set and Laura Hooker
Me with REmix Clothing’s Salem Moussallam
Image Credits: Photo #1 courtesy of Aldo, Photo #5 by Emma Whyte, all others property of The Backseat Stylers